Photo Friday: Color Guard Awards

Last week I shared my letterman jacket. Before that, I shared another letter I received that wouldn’t fit on my jacket. All of these items are in honor of high school and the memorabilia we receive from it. I challenge you to photograph your high school treasures (and especially those of your ancestors). And while you’re at it, photograph the recent grads and their current items. Preserve it for the future generations to enjoy.

Photographing memorabilia
f/3.5, exp 1/20 sec, ISO 80
Pattern metering, Auto White Balance
Photographing high school mementos
f/5, exp 1/15 sec, ISO 100, bias +0.7
Spot metering, Auto White Balance

We create a story with the artifacts when we group them together. This photo features a medallion I received for receiving top honors at a color guard soloist competition. Beside the blue ribbon held medal sits the flag corp ring by James Avery that I wore throughout high school.

I took these photos one day using my DIY lightbox. I placed the box on my ironing board and moved over to the natural light streaming in from the window (left side of the box). I covered a piece of craft fiber fill with a white muslin cloth. Then I placed the medallion on the puff (yep, technical term).

Remember that if you do not like the arrangement of your items, move them around. Do not fall into the trap that your first photograph needs to be your best. Move things around. Put the items on opposite sides from the original position. Raise or lower your camera on the tripod. Just play until you find something that pleases your eye.

f/5, exp 1/15 sec, ISO 100, bias +0.7
Spot metering, Auto White Balance

This arrangement was much better. I know I wore this medal on my letterman jacket alongside my band medals. I wore the ring proudly on the hand opposite my class ring. The perfect ‘high school’ band/color guard nerd. The collection brought back those memories taking a photograph of the medal or ring along did not. If you only have one item, run with it. If you have more artifacts, use them to tell the bigger story.

Have fun celebrating all of the graduations taking place this month. While you’re doing so, grab your camera and photograph the artifacts new grads have amassed. Then photograph the artifacts belonging to the members on your family tree. You’ll be glad you did.

Then leave a link in the comments section to your blog post or Flickr feed showcasing your photos so we can all celebrate your work.

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

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